WECHU asks school boards to develop a policy for extra-curricular activities

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The pause on extra-curricular activities for elementary and secondary students in Windsor-Essex continues.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai says the health unit met with area school board officials on Wednesday and recommended the pause stay in place but also asked the boards to develop a policy for extra-curricular activities for fully vaccinated students.

He says the health unit does not have the review the policy but adds it will provide guidelines and insights to the boards.   

"We will recommend that extra-curricular activities can be re-instituted for participates who are fully vaccinated and we're asking the school boards and school officials to formulate a policy so that they can effectuate that."

Dr. Nesathurai says fully vaccinated participates is a key recommendation in the policy.

"Now once they formulate a policy to effectuate allowing individuals who are fully vaccinated to participate in extra-curricular activities, the pause can be ended and extra-curricular activities can be re-instituted for that population of students," he said.

Health Unit CEO Nicole Dupuis says the health unit has not put a specific timeline for the policy.

She says the health unit has provided its recommendation and what it believes would be appropriate reintroduction for fully vaccinated students.

"The timeline really at this point is dependant and could vary certainly by school board," Dupuis says. "They'll have to do some work to obviously put in place a procedure, a process to ensure that those who are participating are fully vaccinated."

Prior to the start of the school year, the health unit issued the recommendation to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The health unit did recommend a pause until at least October.

Earlier this week, the health unit announced the recommendation would continue.

The delay includes sports, clubs and field trips at both the elementary and secondary level.